Thomas pleased with trip

Cardinals traveled to Florida to train for Spring semester.

Thinking about a holiday vacation to Florida might conjure up images of palm trees decked in twinkling lights and candy canes used to stir drinks with little umbrellas in them. The men's swimming and diving team, however, had an entirely different experience in the Sunshine State.

Many schools partake in the tradition of traveling to warmer climates during the holiday break for some serious training away from the pressures of classes and the gloom of winter weather. The Cardinals spent several days of their break in Ft. Pierce, Fla., training at Indian River Community College and participating in the Treasure Coast Invitational.

"Everything went really well on the training trip," head coach Bob Thomas said. "The weather was mostly real good, the facility was excellent and we had it all to ourselves, and I think we accomplished everything we wanted to."

The primary concern of holiday training trips is to lay a solid base of work for the second semester of competition. But according to Thomas, another goal was to light the competitive fire for the second half of the season.

"You always lose something in terms of fitness when you go home for a week and relax," Thomas said. "We really wanted to get everyone back in shape, so to speak, but keep training hard and continue to swim fast, which we did."

The Treasure Coast Invitational took place in decidedly un-Florida like weather. In fact, the Cardinals renamed the meet the "frostbite invitational" due to the presence of a cold front. Despite the conditions, the team dominated partial squads from the University of South Carolina and host Indian River.

The meet featured a unique format, called a pentathlon. Each swimmer competed in five different events. The times from the events were then added together, and the swimmer with the lowest total time places first. In a dominant performance, the Cardinals placed five swimmers in the top five, including the four best finishers.

Sophomore Jason Revere claimed the individual title, followed by seniors Matt and Mark Smith in second and third, respectively. Senior Nick Badgett placed fourth and senior Matt Pavlovich rounded out the Cardinals best finishers in sixth place.

Encouraged by his team's efforts, Thomas feels the second semester of competition, which begins on Friday at home against Ohio State, will yield good results.

"They were swimming fast in Florida despite being tired," Thomas said. "We're right where we want to be right now."


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